Promote the High Quality Development of Basic Foreign Language Education

2021 High-end Forum on National Basic Foreign Language Education Reform and Development was held successfully in Wuhan from May 12 to 14. The forum was hosted by Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), academically supported by the Chinese Society of Education (CSE), co-organized by FLTRP and BFSU Undergraduate Admissions Office.


The theme of the forum is “Basic Foreign Language Education with Chinese Characteristics Featuring International Perspectives”. A total of 1,200 representatives from education authorities, universities, scientific research institutes, primary and secondary schools attended the forum. Besides that, over 240,000 viewers participated online and watched the live broadcast.


Mr. Wang Dinghua, Secretary of the CPC Committee of BFSU, stated that educators in China should calmly respond to changes, take the initiative to change, establish a bottom-line thinking, cultivate opportunity awareness, take advantage of education, and skillfully handle international relations. Mr. Wang summarized eight characteristics and directions of international basic education: lay a solid foundation, focus on the people, advocate comprehensive development, call for high-quality teachers, integrate disciplines, allow appropriate selections, properly use information technology and strengthen international cooperation.


Mr. Zhang Zhiyong, Executive Director and Chairman of Target Teaching Professional Committee of CSE and Executive Dean of the China Education Policy Research Institute of Beijing Normal University, shared with participants his understanding of the new stage, new concept and new pattern of education development during the 14th Five-Year Plan period. Mr. Zhang said that the new development concept and pattern will profoundly affect the development direction and strategic choice of basic education, thus promoting the formation of a new pattern of China's education.


Mr. Mei Deming, member of National English Textbook Evaluation Committee, brought up a grand theme on the forum. “In terms of English as a discipline, all we do is to cultivate new generations with ideals, abilities and responsibilities”. Mr. Mei stressed that to achieve the above goals, teachers and students must strengthen their ideals and beliefs, enhance their patriotism, and master knowledge and skills through learning. In particular, attention should be paid to cultivate students' international vision and guide them to learn to respect cultural diversity.


“The theme of this forum not only highlights the international characteristics of foreign language education, keeping pace with the times, but also points out that the development of basic foreign language education we are pursuing is resonant with Chinese practice, Chinese wisdom and Chinese concept.” According to Ms. Wang Fang, Secretary of the CPC Committee of FLTRP Group of BFSU, Chair of the Board of FLTRP Group, President of FLTRP, the integration and innovation of international ideas and Chinese characteristics is coherent with FLTRP's mission of being a Chinese publisher with the broadest global vision and an international publisher rooted in China.


In 2001, FLTRP's New Standard English came out, which truly realized the idea of "one-dragon" English textbook proposed at the beginning of the founding of P. R. China. With its new ideas, contents and methods, the textbooks have been welcomed by teachers and students from all over the country since publication, which promoted the development of English teaching in the national basic education stage.


Arnout Jacobs, President of Springer Nature Group in Greater China, said that “New Standard English series is the most important co-authored project between Springer Nature Group and FLTRP. It’s compiled according to Chinese curriculum standards and takes into full account the differences in cultural backgrounds between China and foreign countries. We have created history and we are thrilled about our future cooperation.” 


Over the years, FLTRP has always been committed to building a high-quality teaching material system with constant pursuit of excellence. So far, more than 700 million New Standard English textbooks have been sold.

The forum also held a special activity for the 20th anniversary of the publication of New Standard English, released a series of important academic achievements, such as “2020 Development Report on China’s Foreign Language Textbook”, “2020 Research Report on K-12 English Reading Education Industry in China”, “2020 Annual Report on English Teaching and Evaluation”, and launched the key projects of the National Basic Foreign Language Education Research and Training Center in the 14th Five-Year Plan and the “New Standard Public Welfare Foundation” project of FLTRP.


 “FLTRP will stick to publishing, develop education, promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, implement new development concepts, and build a new development pattern,” said Ms. Wang Fang, who revealed that during the 14th Five-Year Plan period, FLTRP will continuously build an ecosystem for basic education, combining teaching, learning, testing, evaluation and research.


At the end of this forum, Ms. Wang proposed to build a community of basic foreign language education in China together with those who care about and support this cause.